I started Aiki in 1991. I have Maggi thatcher to thank for the initial prod. I used to go to car maintenance classes, these classes were shelved when Maggie introduced the pole tax capping. My brother in law at the time Sensei Phil Benge (Rising Sun Aikido in Western Super Mare) was then attending a club in Hull. He gave me Mick Rowley’s contact details and I went along and never looked back.
One of my first classes involved Roger Bawcutt and Vince Thompson teaching, as they still do, in very simple terms to beginners, I was hooked. I’ve also trained under Alan Pierre (Rising Sun Aikido Hull)
Excellent Aiki course run in Bangor in 2000 where the sensei’s were very highly graded Japanese 8th and 9th dans included;
I have learnt and am still learning from Vince, Roger, Mick, I spent a few year attending classes run by Alan Dawson .I always like to train with other clubs to get their ideas and techniques.
Attending the UMA and Tokushima courses has also given me insights in to other arts judo, karate, jujitsu and how they fit into the making of aiki.
My favourite speech for beginners is ‘If you just want to learn how to defend yourself, learn karate or jujitsu. Aikido is significantly more difficult to master and is a way of life rather than a way to punch people’.